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12 Angry Men

Submitted by: Pam McDonald Released: 1957
E-mail: Pam_McDonald@nifc.blm.gov Studio: United Artists/MGM
Phone: 208-387-5318 Genre: Drama
Audience Rating: Not Rated Runtime: 95 minutes

Materials: VCR or DVD, television or projection system, Wildland Fire Leadership Values and
Principles handouts (single-sided), notepad, writing utensil

Objective: Students will identify Wildland Fire Leadership Values and Principles illustrated
within 12 Angry Men and discuss leadership lessons learned with group members or mentors.

Basic Plot: The jury of twelve 'angry men,' entrusted with the power to send an uneducated,
teenaged Puerto Rican, tenement-dwelling boy to the electric chair for killing his father with a
switchblade knife, are literally locked into a small, claustrophobic rectangular room on a stifling
hot summer day until they come up with a unanimous decision - either guilty or not guilty. The
compelling, provocative film examines the twelve men's deep-seated personal prejudices,
perceptual biases and weaknesses, indifference, anger, personalities, unreliable judgments,
cultural differences, ignorance and fears, that threaten to taint their decision-making abilities,
cause them to ignore the real issues in the case, and potentially lead them to a miscarriage of
justice. (http://www.filmsite.org/twelve.html)

Cast of Main Characters:

Martin Balsam..................................................................Juror 1 (Foreman; coach)
John Fiedler.............................................Juror 2 (Bank clerk; inexperienced juror)
Lee J. Cobb........................................Juror 3 (Angry gentleman with photo of son)
E. G. Marshall.......................................................................Juror 4 (Stock Broker)
Jack Klugman...........................................................Juror 5 (Grew up in the slums)
Edward Binns..................................................................................Juror 6 (Painter)
Jack Warden...............................................................................Juror 7 (Sports fan)
Henry Fonda........................................Juror 8 (Architect; Man who doesn’t know)
Joseph Sweeney.......................................................Juror 9 (Nice older gentleman)
Ed Begley.....................................Juror 10 (Prejudiced older gentleman with cold)
George Voskovec....................................................Juror 11 (Foreign watchmaker)
Robert Webber.......................................Juror 12 (Advertising Executive; doodler)

Facilitation Options:

12 Angry Men illustrates an abundance of leadership values and principles—especially an
emphasis on teamwork, the decision making process, and Socratic leadership. Students should
have few problems identifying those that correspond to the Wildland Fire Leadership Values and
Principles. The objective is not to identify every leadership principle but to promote thought and
discussion. Students should be less concerned with how many principles they view within the
film and more concerned with how the principles they do recognize can be used to develop
themselves as a leader.

Break. 8. Review the Wildland Fire Leadership Values and Principles with students. (Suggestion: When the jury takes their break. from the Wildland Fire Leadership Development website (http://www. Advise students to document instances within the film that illustrate/violate the Wildland Fire Leadership Values and Principles on the handout provided. Wrap up the session and encourage students to apply leadership lessons learned in their personal and work lives. the facilitator should determine a good breaking point near the middle of the film. Break students into small discussion groups. Clip Facilitation Suggestion: 1. Facilitate discussion regarding the selected clip and corresponding value and/or principle. Full-film Facilitation Suggestion: When opting for the full-film method.Obtain copies of the Crew Cohesion Assessment Tool. 4. 6. 4. this might be an excellent opportunity to do so. Begin the guided discussion. 5.) 2. Have students discuss their findings and how they will apply leadership lessons learned to their role in wildland fire suppression. 5. The film can be viewed in its entirety or by clip selection. 10. depending on facilitator intent and time schedules. Mentor Suggestion: .gov/toolbox/documents/Crew_Cohesion_Assessment. developed by Mission-Centered Solutions. 9. Wrap up the session and encourage students to apply leadership lessons learned in their personal and work lives. Facilitate discussion in groups that may have difficulty. Facilitate discussion in groups that have difficulty.pdf) for use with Guided Discussion.fireleadership. Break students into small discussion groups. 3. If you have not used this tool. 1. (May be given or ask students to identify the value or principle being illustrated after viewing the clip. 2. Show students 12 Angry Men.) 6. Review the Wildland Fire Leadership Value or Principle targeted for discussion. Another method is to have the employee(s) view the film on his/her own and then hold the discussion session. Have students discuss their findings and how they will apply leadership lessons learned to their role in wildland fire suppression. Resume the film. 7. #1. 3. Provide a short synopsis with some “ticklers” to pay attention before beginning the rest of the film. Show the clip.

James and Posner. John K. Suggest other wildland fire leadership toolbox items that will contribute to the overall leadership development of the student. Movies to Manage By. http://gsbwww. Kouzes. Melora.doc. 2002.” with connections to“Six Principles of Group Decision Making. Twelve Angry Men – Teams That Don’t Quit http://www. Other References: Advanced Knowledge. Hyperlinks have been included to facilitate the use of the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program website. 1998. Encourage students of leadership to visit the website at http://www. and Wolff. Encouraging individuals to keep a leadership journal is an excellent way to document leadership values and principles that are practiced. Twelve Angry Men: Teams That Don’t Quit. Major Norman H (USAF).com Patnode. Program Management and Leadership. Facilitator Guide.klayman/teaching/ManagerialPsych-05B/3- 12%20angry%20handout-2005B.theleadershipchallenge.targetlearn. Managerial Psychology. Targeted Learning Corporation. The Leadership Challenge.” 2005.edu/fac/joshua. . 117-137. Summary of Class Discussion on “Twelve Angry Men. Third Edition.) http://advancedknowledge.pdf Clemens.uchicago. 1999.” pp.gov. Use either method presented above.pdf University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. November-December 2002.com/twelve.com/documentation/TWEL000. The Socratic Method – Leveraging Questions to Increase Performance. The mentor should be available to the student to discuss lessons learned from the film as well as incorporating them to the student’s leadership self-development plan. (Goes with the Targeted Learning Corporation reference below. www.fireleadership. Chapter 6 – “Socratic Leadership—12 Angry Men. Barry.

− Conduct frequent debriefings with the team to identify lessons learned. − Clearly state expectations. − Keep your superiors informed of your actions. Employ your subordinates in accordance with their capabilities. Wildland Fire Leadership Values and Principles Be proficient in your job. Respect Build the team. − Maintain situation awareness in order to anticipate needed actions. − Make yourself available to answer questions at appropriate times. − Apply disciplinary measures equally. − Put the safety of your subordinates above all other objectives. − Develop contingencies and consider consequences. Know your subordinates and look out for their well being. − Resolve conflicts between individuals on the team. Develop your subordinates for the future. − Adhere to professional standard operating procedures. − Don’t show discouragement when facing set backs. − Know the strengths/weaknesses in your character and skill level. − Recognize individual and team accomplishments and reward them appropriately. Keep your subordinates informed. − Consider individual skill levels and development needs when assigning tasks. − Issue clear instructions. − Provide early warning to subordinates of tasks they will be responsible for. Seek responsibility and accept responsibility for your actions. − Observe and assess actions in progress without micro-managing. − Use positive feedback to modify duties. fatigue and physical limitations when accepting assignments. both technically and as a leader. − Accept full responsibility for and correct poor team performance. − Develop a plan to accomplish given objectives. − Take charge when in charge. − Give the reason (intent) for assignments and tasks. − Choose the difficult right over the easy wrong. Duty Ensure that tasks are understood. − Improvise within the commander’s intent to handle a rapidly changing environment. Set the example. tasks and assignments when appropriate. Know yourself and seek improvement. − Observe human behavior as well as fire behavior. Student Handout . − Provide accurate and timely briefings. − Actively listen to feedback from subordinates. Integrity − Credit subordinates for good performance. − Share the hazards and hardships with your subordinates. − Take care of your subordinate’s needs. Make sound and timely decisions. − Delegate those tasks that you are not required to do personally. supervised and accomplished. − Ask questions of peers and superiors. − Consider team experience.

Student Handout . 2.  Develop your subordinates for the future.  Seek responsibility and accept responsibility for your actions. Integrity  Know yourself and seek improvement.  Build the team.  Keep your subordinates informed. Respect  Know your subordinates and look out for their well being.  Set the example.  Employ your subordinates in accordance with their capabilities. 12 Angry Men 1.  Ensure that tasks are understood.  Make sound and timely decisions. Document film clips illustrating the Wildland Fire Leadership Values and Principles. Duty  Be proficient in your job. Discuss leadership lessons learned from the film with group members or mentor. both technically and as a leader. supervised and accomplished.

How does complacency affect decision- making and team effectiveness within the wildland fire community? Discuss instances of complacency that you have experienced. Using the Mission-Centered Solutions Crew Cohesion Assessment that your facilitator has provided. How did you handle those situations? 7.) to play a major role in determining their verdict of the defendant. Juror #7 changes his vote from guilty to not guilty in order to bring about consensus even though he believes the defendant is guilty. ethnicity. How does the decision-making environment of the movie parallel that of the wildland fire service? What lessons will you take from the movie to make your team stronger? 6. 2. identify scenes in the movie that relate to the behaviors listed on the assessment. One of the promotional posters for the movie stated “Life is in their hands – Death is on their minds. Was the supervisor’s concern warranted? How did you handle the situation? 8. Individual jurors allowed personal feelings (age. Which of the characters in the movie appear to be leaders? How effective are they? 4.” This in turn leads to the Foreman questioning his leadership skills. It explodes like 12 sticks of dynamite!” What does this statement imply about the situation and how does this relate to life on the fireline? 5. prior relationships. Discuss instances when you witnessed a supervisor disregarding suggestions from a subordinate because the supervisor felt the subordinate lacked the knowledge/experience to make such a suggestion. He seemed to have determined guilt even prior to hearing the case. How would you handle a crew/team member who allowed his/her personal feelings to compromise the group’s mission? Student Handout . class. Juror #10 questions the Foreman’s ability to lead stating the Foreman is a “kid. What Wildland Fire Leadership Values and Principles does the character compromise? 9. Identify at least three positive behaviors or actions that you saw in the movie that can make your team more effective? 3. 12 Angry Men Guided Discussion 1. etc. Juror #3 has sat on many cases and has a negative view of lawyers.

(Actively listen to feedback from superiors.) Jurors #3 and 10 realize personal issues have clouded their judgment. These are only guidelines and may be interpreted differently by other views.) A time limit is set on how long the jury will deliberate before declaring themselves a hung jury.) The foreman loses his composure as a leader.) Juror #8 agrees to give his reasoning although the goal of the group was to change his verdict. Duty The judge gives the jury final instructions.) Respect Juror #8 asks the right questions to invoke responses and action from Juror #3. just wants to talk. (Choose the difficult right over the easy wrong. (Don’t show discouragement when facing set backs. 12 Angry Men The following clips illustrate the Wildland Leadership Values and Principles. (Be proficient in your jub. (Observe human behavior as well as fire behavior. (Clearly state expectations. (Make yourself available to answer questions at appropriate times. (Give the reason for assignments and tasks. (Take care of your subordinate’s needs.) Juror #8 does not intend to change anyone’s verdict. (Adhere to professional operating procedures.) Juror #8 doesn’t know if the defendant is guilty or innocent. they are presented as a guide for facilitation. he gives up.) Jurors change their verdicts after listening to others.) The Foreman of the jury had a responsibility to lead the group.) The Foreman gets Juror #8 the exhibits he wants even though he pretty much gives up his leadership role.) Each juror gives his reasoning for verdict. (Ask questions of peers and superiors. (Develop a plan to accomplish objectives. (Issue clear instructions and clearly state expectations.) Juror #4 explains that is customary to take a preliminary vote. (Put the safety of your subordinates above all other objectives. both technically and as a leader. (Accept full responsibility for and correct poor team performance) Facilitator Reference . he just wants to talk.) Integrity Juror #8 declares a non-guilty verdict.) Juror #6 defends Juror #9 when Juror #3 attacks the older gentleman.

Once the vote is taken. Being able to handle decision-making under stress is critical to completing the mission in a safe and efficient manner. − Talk openly and honestly. − Promote team member equality. − Learn more about one another—address diversity. Constitution—historic implications. Identify at least three positive behaviors or actions that you saw in the movie that can make your team more effective? o Answers will vary. lock down. Facilitator Reference . diversity and age differences—even before deliberations begin. One of the promotional posters for the movie stated “Life is in their hands – Death is on their minds. Firefighters are faced with explosive situations daily. o Answers will vary.S. (Learning and Communication) − Conflict occurs many times between jury members—some are addressed. but may include: − Judge debriefs the jury and provides final instructions— commander’s intent. 4. 12 Angry Men Guided Discussion – Possible Answers 1. These same situations are found in the wildland fire community. Many instances exist when individuals assume a leadership role. an all- out war is waged against the one dissenter. (Effectiveness) − The jury comes to consensus. It explodes like 12 sticks of dynamite!” What does this statement imply about the situation and how does this relate to life on the fireline? o Viewers notice a very explosive environment—hot and humid day. (Trust) − Juror #8 discusses the need to uphold the U. (Conflict) − Jury members begin to feel the environment change and trust is built. 3. (Leadership) 2. Using the Mission-Centered Solutions Crew Cohesion Assessment that your facilitator has provided. identify scenes in the movie that relate to the behaviors listed on the assessment. Taking time to discuss a situation or topic. (Teamwork) − The jury is able to transition between high-stress and low-stress conditions. A control for leadership is waged at the beginning when members attack and overrule the foreman’s idea of a secret ballot. Which of the characters in the movie appear to be leaders? How effective are they? o Answers will vary. Students should identify two prominent leaders—Jurors #1 and #8. but may include: − Not rushing to conclusions.

Discuss instances when you witnessed a supervisor disregarding suggestions because he/she felt a subordinate lacked the knowledge/experience to make such a suggestion.5. He should be putting the needs of the defendant and the other jurors in front of his own needs to see the baseball game. How does the decision-making environment of the movie parallel that of the wildland fire service? What lessons will you take from the movie to make your team stronger? o Answers will vary. 7. − Numerous principles with the values are also compromised. class. Juror #10 questions the Foreman’s ability to lead stating the Foreman is a “kid.” This in turn leads to the Foreman questioning his leadership skills. The other jurors deserve respect from him. He lacks the integrity to accept the responsibility of being a juror and upholding the structure of the U. Constitution and the legal process. Juror #3 has sat on many juries and has a negative view of lawyers. How did you handle those situations? o Answers will vary. Juror #7 changes his vote from guilty to not guilty in order to bring about consensus even though he believes the defendant is guilty. Individual jurors allowed personal feelings (age. ethnicity. administrative concerns. He has a duty to the defendant to obtain a fair trial and to address reasonable doubt issues. etc. but may include: − Wildland firefighters must make decisions that can ultimately affect the lives of others.) to play a major role in determining their verdict of the defendant. Individuals may not let their concerns be known for various reasons—not tough enough. but may include: − All three values are compromised in some manner. Facilitator Reference . but may include: − A rush to judgment. 8. He seemed to have determined guilt even prior to hearing the case. 9. Was the supervisor’s concern warranted? How did you handle the situation? o Answers will vary. − Increased safety risks. Wildland firefighters owe a duty to one another to talk about questions and concerns they have. How does complacency affect decision- making and team effectiveness within the wildland fire community? Discuss instances of complacency that you have experienced. Rushes to judgment/action can result in the loss of life. How would you handle a crew/team member who allowed his/her personal feelings to compromise the group’s mission? o Answers will vary. − Breakdown in crew cohesion. What Wildland Fire Leadership Values and Principles does the character compromise? o Answers will vary. prior relationships. 6.S. politics.